I Saw Bon Jovi and Fell in Love with His Monitors!


That isn’t some sort of euphemism, it’s a statement of fact. I recently saw a guilty pleasure in concert – Bon Jovi (no comments about musical taste please). We had tickets that were basically stage right which was the perfect angle to see what was happening behind the stage and check out the video monitors.

Now, I realize that most people go to a concert with the sole purpose to listen to music and see a show. I want to do that but I have a habit of getting distracted by the technology. I’ve been known to watch spotlight operators, keep tabs on the folks running show production from the floor, and scrutinize how the stage lighting/sound/monitors all work together. I have to say that while the stage and lighting were nice, these monitors were amazing! I was so enthralled with them my husband had to keep reminding me to watch the band.

Jon Bon Jovi standing on a video monitor

Jon Bon Jovi gets a lift from robotic monitors.

I am not the first person impressed. I actually saw a few articles, including this one, about these monitors. They were highlighted by the lighting and sound industries. The folks who developed the stage used the Venetian monitors developed for the previous  tour and teamed them with five new monitors sitting on robotic arms that move and groove throughout the show. At one point the monitors turn into steps and stage as Jon Bon Jovi uses them to share the love with those behind the stage. The monitors light up and project as he walks across them. Combined with the larger monitors behind the stage, and the high def Venetian monitors, it’s an unbelievable sight.

If you saw my earlier post, I admit that I don’t get out much. I don’t go to every concert out there, but I’ve been to some pretty good one…Van Halen, Sir Paul McCarteny, The Police, Meatloaf, Weird Al…and others. My first concert was the Beach Boys (I was a kid, and they most definitely were not). I may not be a concert regular, but I’ve got a few reference points to use for analysis.

I think about the other concerts I’ve been to and I’m amazed at how far the technology has come. I remember back to hand-held cameras showing grainy images on much smaller screens. They were far from the clear crisp huge monitors all over the stage. Back then the screens were to help people see the stage better, they weren’t an important part of the show. That’s not to say flying monitors that doubled as a curtain and video stairs overpowered the show. They did exactly what they should do, enhance the show and increase the production values.

I’m sure that there were few people at the show as fascinated by the monitors as I was. I’m just a geek that way. To paraphrase one of my favorite geeks. It’s pretty cool living in the future.

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